WHO I FISHED WITH: This morning, Monday, February 22nd, I fished with retired Austin policeman Jim Cottingham, who primarily focuses on competitive bass fishing.
Jim’s primary focus was seeing Garmin LiveScope used in a real-world scenario to catch fish and to understand the settings needed to dial the unit in, thus allowing it to be used to its fullest potential.
PHOTO CAPTION: Stillhouse continues to produce beefy white bass despite the chilled water.
WHERE WE FISHED: Stillhouse Hollow
WHEN WE FISHED: Monday (AM), 22 February 2021
HOW WE FISHED:
This was my first guided trip since last Monday. The recent winter storms cost me a full week off the water. I went out briefly Sunday night to sample the water temperature, see if a shad kill of any sort had taken place, and exercise all the systems on the boat before welcoming Jim aboard this morning.
Fortunately, with the coldest water I detected (down to 65 feet) being 43.6F, and the threshold temperature for threadfin shad thought to be 42F, it appears we dodged a bullet and did not lose our forage base. Sonar readings this morning verified an abundance of living shad suspended between 20-24 feet, and than again below 55 feet.
This morning’s bite had its good points and its bad points. Good: I was pleased to see the speed at which the white bass we caught this morning pursued the vertical presentations we offered. I bypassed the icejigs and jighead/soft plastics I thought we’d have to use, and had success right off the bat on a VERY slowly smoked 3/8 oz. Hazy Eye Slab with stinger hook attached. The only reason we smoked these is because the fish were following farther than we could routinely lift without interrupting the rate of rise.
We put 17 fish in the boat in the first 2 hours on a pretty steady bite with fish that definitely responded to the thumper, the, at the same time the wind went slack, the birds quit, and the fish stopped feeding. We only caught 2 more fish from that point on.
As I anticipated, I found fish very deep in the belly of the old Lampasas River channel, but these fish were exceptionally lethargic.
Hazy Eye Slabs, MAL Lures, and Stinger Hooks are found here: https://whitebasstools.com/
TALLY: 19 fish caught and released
OBSERVATIONS: Temperature profile taken around 6pm, Sunday 21 Feb.:
0 feet 46.4
5 feet 46.4
10 feet 46.2
15 feet 45.8
20 feet 45.8
25 feet 45.6
35 feet 45.6
35 feet 45.5
40 feet 45
45 feet 45
50 feet 45
55 feet 44.4
60 feet 43.7
65 feet 43.6
Start Time: 6:50A
End Time: 12:15 A
Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 37F
Elevation: 0.53′ high with a 0.01’ 24-hour drop and 1 CFS flow thru the dam.
Water Surface Temp: 46.4F
Wind Speed & Direction: W7 through 9A, then dying to light and variable
Sky Condition: Cloudless blue skies
Moon Phase: Waxing gibbous moon at 75% illumination
GT = 0
AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:
**Areas: 350 thru 089 – moderate action on slabs by chunky white bass in first 2 hours of the morning with bird assistance.
Full-time, Professional Fishing Guide and Owner of Holding the Line Guide Service
Belton Lake Fishing Guide, Stillhouse Hollow Fishing Guide
254.368.7411 (call or text) Website: www.HoldingTheLineGuideService.com
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